Kan Wakan and the killing beauty of the sundance

Kan Wakan and the killing beauty of the sundance

Hi, I know your music for a long time, and now, I want to get to know the person behind it… What do you think about yourself?

Hello! Thank you for having me! What kind of person... it’s quite a philosophical thing isn’t it… self reflection is a luxury. to reflect on one’s self and question what drives us to do certain things naturally.  I ride the line between stubbornness and insanity by way of expressionism through the medium of music and performance art.  Always creating without a clear motive, and expecting something different to come of it, which it often does not, but yet I continue… maybe I am just happy to be a blindly contributing piece of a collective subconscious.. and here I am, again thinking about how to best put into words one of the few things in our realm that transcend primitive forms of communication… it’s your fault.

Let’s continue with the primitive forms of communication. The premier of your phantasmagorical album will be on the 21th of May, at Sofia live Club. According to the official info “the triple conceptual album equals a long journey because it takes 3 years to be released”. Tell me more about this journey – where it starts and where it ends?

Lately it has felt like it has no end at all… which feels contemporary on one hand, and on the other it’s incredibly frustrating to keep kicking the ball down the field.  I believe Kanye West released an album recently, which he kept updating once it was already out there… this is the kind of non committal anxiety I feel at the moment, but literally as I am speaking with you, I’m getting the last masters of the album so soon it will need to be done. There is no clear cut start or end to it. Some of the first demos were started in 2013 in LA, and from there it’s all felt like Zelda…  just slowly widening the spectrum of possibilities and collaborating with as many talented people as possible… frequent breaks were necessary in order to take a step back and be able to see what kind of form it’s taking as a whole… then zoom back in and refine things, it’s a lot of back and forth.. it’s been incredibly challenging and a great learning experience to take on this project… I don’t think I will ever make another album this way again. 

We are only talking about your Kan Wakan project. Are there other musical project we don’t know about?

Well I am a full time composer / producer. I’m constantly working on various projects aside form my own.

I recently scored a film called Dead Draw, which is currently traveling the festival circuit in the US and last week I saw it in a theater at the Newport Film Festival which was fantastic. I also have been producing on the upcoming albums for Moses Sumney, Ivo Dimchev and Ruth Koleva, all of those projects are nearly finished.

You have talked about the difficult transition from living in Sofia to living in LA in many interviews. Is there something more you want to share about that?

I’m sure there are many things that I have yet to share… otherwise that would make me incredibly boring… which is probably worse than most other possible things.  I would love to live in Sofia again…  it’s where I’m from and feel closest to.. it’s not a perfect place, but no place is. Ultimately I don’t think I’m the kind of person that can be in the same place for an extended period of time.  I think this is what’s helped me adapt to the changes in my life, the comfort in knowing that if you accept that you have no control over most things, you can instead, focus the energy you put towards trying to control the circumstances towards adapting to the changes and using them as a tool to propel your dreams forward.

In an interview you have said that kan wakan is the Indian name of the sun. Looking for a contradiction between the name of the project and the grim songs you create?

 I think I naturally have a tendency to look for contradiction, it’s the push and pull of things that create a tension that results in a resolution, and these are all useful tools in storytelling of any kind, whether it’s a song, or a piece of art.

I think a sundance can be the most beautiful, happy and peaceful celebration of life, but also death… and somber music can also be perceived as uplifting, calming and beautiful just as much as it is saddening and dark.

How does it feel to support Arctic Monkeys and Royal Blood?

They are friends, normal people… it is always an honor to perform alongside incredibly talented musicians, and their level of popularity does not hold any real significance outside the media bubble. I am fortunate and grateful to be able to make the music I want to make, and have people that appreciate it and offer their support. 

What kind of music is horrible according to you?

There is no particular genre of music that I think is horrible… I believe good music can be found within any genre, regardless of the way it’s presented.  Even chalga can be interesting and inspiring within a certain context. I think the most horrifying music comes out of desperation for attention, and the desire of certain artists to be in the spotlight first with little regard for the actual music or art, and all of this is being presented  and sold to us as “entertainment” which in reality is the Trojan horse used to trick the mainstream audience into consuming  the dumbing down of our emotions and senses, because complex emotions and depth of character are more difficult to market and sell to. I think because of the wide availability of music and art online, people are becoming more and more aware of what is real and what is being sold to manipulate them so they can more easily filter and navigate  through things. Hopefully there will be more of an equal leveled playing field for truly talented musicians in the future, but as with anything, there always needs to be a contradiction, balance and contrast, as these are tools that stimulate growth, change and creativity and drive creative people to push forward to uncharted new territories.

Kan Wakan is @ Sofia Live Club on the 21th of May

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